Evaluation of ventricular contractility indexes in the dog with left ventricular dysfunction induced by rapid atrial pacing
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Eight dogs were studied by simultaneous invasive hemodynamic and two-dimensional echocardiographic methods to determine whether left ventricular contractility is altered by 2 weeks of rapid atrial pacing. Additionally, this study evaluated the response of three ventricular contractility indexes to both the pacing intervention and acute load alteration. The indexes compared were ejection fraction, peak systolic pressure to end-systolic volume index ratio (SBP/ESVI) and end-systolic wall stress to end-systolic volume index ratio (ESWS/ESVI). After 2 weeks of pacing at 265 +/- 20 min-1 (mean +/- SD), cardiac index and ejection fraction were reduced to 73 +/- 38 ml/kg per min and 22 +/- 6%, respectively, from 161 +/- 22 and 46 +/- 7 before pacing (both p less than 0.001). Concomitantly, SBP/ESVI and ESWS/ESVI were reduced to 34 +/- 10 mm Hg/ml per kg and 54 +/- 19 g/cm2 per ml per kg, respectively, from 84 +/- 29 and 121 +/- 36 before pacing (both p less than 0.005). There were high correlations for the changes in SBP/ESVI and ejection fraction (r = 0.94, p less than 0.001) and ESWS/ESVI and ejection fraction (r = 0.89, p less than 0.003). Acute afterload alteration with phenylephrine depressed ejection fraction but not SBP/ESVI or ESWS/ESVI. Therefore, this study demonstrates 1) that left ventricular contractility is markedly depressed in the dog by 2 weeks of rapid atrial pacing, and 2) that SBP/ESVI and ESWS/ESVI are superior to ejection fraction as ventricular contractility indexes because these ratios accurately measure contractility changes but are influenced less by after-load conditions.
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